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New Chief Justice announced

New Chief Justice announced

A replacement for Chief Justice Michael Black of the Federal Court of Australia was announced today by the Australian Government.

A replacement for Chief Justice Michael Black of the Federal Court of Australia was announced today by the Australian Government. 

The Honourable Patrick Keane will begin his appointment on Monday 22 March this year, when Justice Black departs after 19 years holding the title. 

His Honour will be the third Chief Justice appointed to the Federal Court since its inception, and the first from Queensland.


Justice Keane is currently a Judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland, an office he has held with distinction since 2005. Prior to taking up judicial appointment, Justice Keane was Solicitor-General for Queensland. Between 1990 and 1992, Justice Keane was Deputy Chairman of the Queensland Law Reform Commission. 

Justice Keane practised at the Queensland Bar between 1978 and 2005, principally in commercial and constitutional matters. Justice Keane was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1988 and in 2003 was awarded the Centenary Medal.


The Government sought the views of a wide range of individuals and organisations, including State and Territory Attorneys-General, Chief Justices from across Australia, and the legal profession through the relevant professional associations.


The Government thanked the Chief Justice for the valued and enduring contribution he has made to Australia’s justice system.

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